Big changes are in store for UC Santa Cruz’s graduate and undergraduate curricula. Both graduate programs and undergraduate programs are facing overhauls. With planned Ph.D. programs in feminist studies and Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS), coupled with the final suspension of the embattled American studies undergraduate major, one thing is for sure — UCSC won’t look the same for the class of fall 2012.

Graduate Changes

Ph.D. programs in feminist studies and LALS as well as a master’s program in theater arts have been approved at UCSC.

Admissions to the LALS doctorate program will begin in the 2013–14 academic year — entry into the feminist studies Ph.D. will begin in 2012–13. Classes will launch for LALS in fall 2014, and for feminist studies in fall 2013.

“Each of these programs reflects the excellence and distinctiveness of scholarship and creativity and activity at UC Santa Cruz,” vice provost for academic affairs Herbert Lee said in a formal announcement.

The announcement said the feminist studies Ph.D. would offer a unique interdisciplinary approach, while a transnational focus would be apparent in the LALS Ph.D.

Before the changes are implemented, faculty and the graduate division are collaborating to finalize admission planning.

“The curriculum is planned out as part of the program proposal, although exactly how it’s implemented requires additional planning,” Lee said. “If faculty can put together an intellectually coherent program where it fits within our resource envelope, then we try to do all of it that we can.”

Finally, a theater arts master’s program has been implemented, with classes beginning in fall 2012. Because the theater arts major will be a conversion from its current certificate program, admissions have already been in place. The theater arts masters program will take advantage of its departmental ties with Shakespeare Santa Cruz and other professional theaters in its year-long program.

Students who are interested in the new graduate programs should contact the associated departments directly.

Undergraduate Changes.

Admission to the American studies undergraduate major has been formally suspended for two years. Students in the major were notified of the proposed suspension in January 2011.

“Since the American studies major is in suspension, we are not accepting new students into the major — neither frosh nor current students,” said undergraduate American studies advisor Donna Davis in an email. “However, students who are already declared American studies majors will be able to finish their degrees.”

Additionally, the economics dual degree pathway program has been discontinued. The program enrolled students from other UC campuses, but according to Lee’s curriculum update announcement, it has not been used for many years.

Still, changes to UC Santa Cruz’s undergraduate curriculum have not been entirely attritional. Faculty and students have developed plans for new programs in critical race and ethnic studies, including a bachelor’s degree, a minor and a graduate minor — also called a “designated emphasis.”

“A pre-proposal for academic programs in critical race and ethnic studies is currently circulating for comments,” said dean of humanities William Ladusaw in an email. “It describes the curriculum needed and the proposed requirements for an undergraduate major and minor and a graduate minor.”

After comments and statements of support are received, the pre-proposal will be developed into a formal proposal for review and potential approval by the academic senate in the fall.